"I Read the Nikkei, Too": Crafting Positions of Authority and Masculinity in a Japanese Conversation



This article investigates how Japanese men use terms of address and sentence-final particles to create ongoing positions of superiority, seniority, and masculinity in their conversations. Data are drawn from conversations by all-male groups who are speakers of the Hanshinkan dialect of western Japan. An examination of real linguistic practices shows deft use of multiple linguistic features, including first-person pronouns, address terms, and sentence-final particles, to carve out particular identities vis-à-vis specific interlocutors. These forms and their subsequent stances are interpreted by other speakers in ways that indicate their access to larger discourses of ideological gender and hierarchy relations.